The Washington Redskins are one of the oldest teams in the NFL, founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves. they relocated to Washington D.C. in 1937, soon after the changing their name the “Redskins” in 1933.
There’s been a moderate amount of debate surrounding this topic, and I’m siding with the people that want a new name.
For many Native Americans, the term “redskin” is derogatory and racially demeaning. It is labelled as a slur and a negative term in most, if not all, English dictionaries. So why doesn’t the team change it?
In 2017, the Supreme Court made the decision that the government cannot disallow organizations to use potentially offensive names. The justices cited the First Amendment, saying that the First Amendment protects potentially disparaging speech.
The case primarily focused on the legality of a band named “The Slants,” a four person rock group that including all Asian members. “The Slants” argued they were trying to rebrand the term into something to be proud of through their “open-minded, high-energy fun the band promoted with their music.”
However, the main difference I see between theses two case is that “The Slants” are all Asian, using a term that could be offensive to their own race. The majority of the Redskins’ front office is white, and their team name is clearly offensive to multiple Native Americans
Just because Americans have the option to use offensive speech doesn’t mean that they should use it. With all the other football team names the Washington organization could potentially come up with, it seems ignorant to not change it by now.
Although it is legal, it’s not ethical. The Washington Redskins need to change their name. Any suggestions?
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